From astounding bulletproof glass to the strongest material known to man so far, here are 14 Fascinating Man Made Substances.
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8. One-Way Bulletproof Glass
Also referred to as ballistic glass, this material is created by layering laminated glass. The more layers that the glass has the more efficient it will be in protecting. It should be noted that bulletproof glass isn’t 100 percent impervious to being penetrated, since no material is really, but it won’t completely shatter like regular glass thanks to being made of a combination of hard and soft glass. This is what allows the layers of glass to flex instead of shatter.
Also referred to as dimethyl sulfoxide, this chemical solvent was first created back in 1866 by a Russian scientist named Alexander Zaytsev was once a byproduct of wood pulping. It wasn’t until the 1960’s that it was realized it could seep into the skin at a quick rate and wasn’t toxic to body tissue. It could also alleviate pain for a maximum of 6 hours but because it was an industrial chemical already available the pharmaceutical companies didn’t pursue it because they wouldn’t make a profit.
Starlite is a type of plastic that was designed with a unbelievably high resistance to heat and was created during the 1970’s and 80’s by an amateur chemist whose name was Maurice Ward. The plastic composition is actually unknown because Ward simply didn’t want to reveal it and never let any organizations keep samples after they tested starlite because he didn’t want them to reverse engineer it. It’s been speculated that the material is made out of “ organic polymers and co-polymers with organic and inorganic additives.
Scientifically known as “polyborodimethylsiloxane,” this material is specially equipped to absorb the shock and disperse the energy from an impact. When D3O is left in its raw liquid form it is able to “flow freely and when moved slowly, but on shock, locks together.” Then it reverts back to its flexible state of being. It was first discovered back in 1999 by a British engineer named Richard Palmer when he was able to isolate it at the University of Hertfordshire. Commonly applied to footwear, medical, and military uses.
The substance was actually proposed as a candidate material to create an unsinkable aircraft carrier back during World War 2 by a man named Geoffrey Pyke. Pykrete is made up of 86 percent ice and 14 percent sawdust and the weird mixture has some fascinating properties going on such as the fact that it is much stronger than regular ice, almost resembling concrete, and has a low melting point. However, this is only the case when the mixture is kept frozen a temperature of -16 degrees Fahrenheit or -26 degrees Celsius.
Also known as “frozen smoke”, aerogel is considered to be the lightest material that has ever been created and now the lightest material has gotten even lighter. Aerogel is made by replacing the liquid component of a gel and replacing it with a gas. This brand new aerogel is made out of multiwalled carbon nanotube or “MWCNT.” Aerogels have been around since 1931 when they were created by Samuel Stephens Kistler and were generally made from metal oxides, polymers, and silica so to produce aerogel out of nanotubes is remarkable as it’s never been done before.
This substance is actually comprised of genetically modified microbes and was created by a team of students studying at Newcastle University in the UK. The students have managed to program these spores to be able to repair the cracks that produce in concrete over time. The spores will swim down into the cracks begin to create a special mixture that is made up of bacterial glue and calcium carbonate that will harden to the same strength as the concrete around it. This is truly a wondrous invention.
Before we reveal number one, let us know which one of these man-made substances you thought was the most interesting and don’t forget to subscribe! And now…
1. Carbon Nanotubes
Basically, what a carbon nanotube is that it’s essentially a sheet of carbon that is approximately the thickness of one atom and rolled up into a cylinder. When viewed at a molecular level, the cylinders ends up resembling chicken wire but we can assure you it’s much stronger than that since it is classified as being the strongest material known to modern day science. This is because graphene is “the basic structural element” in this allotrope. They’re so incredibly thin that they’re invisible to the naked eye but appear to look like soot when many are placed together.